I want to dive into a topic that I believe is a game-changer when it comes to achieving your goals, especially in the realm of weight loss. We’re going to talk about motivation and how to stay more motivated– but not in the way you might be used to thinking about it.
How To Be More Motivated
Here’s the big motivation problem: we tend to think of motivation as just a feeling. We want to feel motivated, right? That rush of excitement, the tingling sensation that makes us say, “Yes, let’s go, let’s do it!” But the reality is, motivation isn’t just a feeling. It’s your desire and willingness to go after what you want, to pursue your goals. It’s much deeper than a fleeting emotion.
Short-Term vs. Long-Term Motivation:
Feelings come and go. If you rely solely on the feeling of motivation to achieve your goals, I’ll be blunt – you’re in for a roller coaster ride. That initial burst of excitement and optimism will inevitably fade, leaving your pursuit of goals feeling like a constant up-and-down journey. Contrary to popular belief, motivation is more than just a passing feeling.
Short-term motivation is all about those initial feelings – the excitement, optimism, and determination that kick in when you start a new diet or fitness program. It’s that “let’s conquer the world” mindset after watching an inspiring movie or listening to a powerful podcast. And there’s nothing wrong with these short-term bursts of motivation, as long as you understand that they’re temporary. They’re like enjoying a delicious meal or a rejuvenating massage – wonderful in the moment, but they will pass.
The Challenge of Long-Term Motivation
Here’s where the real challenge lies: the transition from short-term to long-term motivation. Many of us have experienced the initial motivation of starting a new diet or program, only to find ourselves hopping from one approach to another when that initial excitement wears off. This pattern, what I call “diet hopping,” is often fueled by the dopamine surge and feel-good chemicals that come with starting something new.
If you’ve found yourself on a heap of failed diets and weight loss programs, it might be time for a moment of truth. Maybe the issue isn’t with the diets themselves, but rather with how you perceive and harness motivation.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation:
Extrinsic motivation is when you’re driven by external rewards or the avoidance of punishment. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation stems from doing something for its own sake, finding the activity inherently rewarding.
The intriguing revelation is that intrinsic motivation is seen as more effective for long-term goals. It is a commitment to the journey, personal growth, and a willingness to persist even when external rewards are not immediately apparent. Relying too heavily on extrinsic motivation can backfire, leading to tension, pressure, and potential failure in the long run.
Consider participating in a sport. Extrinsic motivation might involve playing to win trophies, impress friends, or make your parents proud. Intrinsic motivation, however, is playing simply because you love the sport, finding joy in the activity itself.
Now, let’s connect this to weight loss. Extrinsic motivation for losing weight could be driven by the desire to look a certain way, fit into specific clothes, or meet external expectations. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, goes beyond the numbers on the scale. It involves a deeper journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and a genuine commitment to a healthier lifestyle.
Applying Intrinsic Motivation to Weight Loss:
I encourage you to explore your own motivations, prompting questions about perception of motivation, past reliance on extrinsic factors, and if you have tapped into intrinsic motivation. The shift to intrinsic motivation is a process. I urge you to unlearn the idea that pounds are the sole measure of success in weight loss.
In conclusion, we challenge conventional beliefs about motivation, urging us to look beyond fleeting feelings and external rewards. It advocates for a deeper understanding of commitment, intrinsic motivation, and the transformative power of personal growth. As you contemplate your motivations, I encourage a shift towards a more sustainable and fulfilling approach to goal pursuit.